Choose Vegan Proteins
The best proteins are focussed on gentle muscle building, are anti-inflammatory in nature and kind to your kidneys
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I often come across working professionals who are looking at adding muscle quickly and they aim for ready-made powders available in the gym, which can put a lot of pressure on the kidneys. Excessive exercise and weight lifting also causes a lot of oxidative stress, leading to higher inflammation levels inside the body and increasing the risk of lifestyle diseases and cancer. An average person needs just 50 grams of protein a day to stay healthy and keep energy levels high, which can easily come from vegetarian sources. Vegan proteins are a safer option for our organs and also have heart protective qualities.
The best proteins are focussed on gentle muscle building, are anti-inflammatory in nature and kind to your kidneys. Many vegetarians prefer milk and whey proteins, but these come from animal sources too and hence, have hormones. Too much of these can put pressure on the organs, especially the kidneys, and raise levels of inflammation and sugar, as milk also has lactose, a kind of sugar.
Excessive exercise and weight lifting causes oxidative stress, leading to increased inflammation inside the body and hence, increases the risk of lifestyle diseases and cancer. So, if you are looking at bulking up, your source of protein has to be natural and vegetarian which is anti-inflammatory and reduces the oxidative stress from excessive exercise. This will help you bulk up and reduce the oxidative stress and develop higher stamina to help you achieve the body you aim for.
Two of my strongest recommendations are below:
Vegan protein powder: Take equal quantities of almonds (21 per cent protein), walnuts (15 per cent protein) and pistachios (20 per cen protein) and chia seeds (17 per cent protein and high in iron). Dry grind them together in a mixie and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator to protect their anti-oxidant properties. Consume two to three tablespoons a day for moderate exercise and two to three tablespoons, twice or thrice a day for higher muscle power. Not only do you get protein from nuts and seeds, the good fat content in them lowers LDL, the bad cholesterol and raises HDL, the good cholesterol, which is heart protective, reduces anxiety and provides natural stress relief. It’s also rich in minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc which are all anti-cancer in nature. In fact, patients recovering from an illness or cancer patients recovering from chemotherapy and other treatments can safely take this to replace lost muscle and reduce malnutrition. They will also find that it has anti-inflammatory benefits in reducing cancer cells inside the body.
Easy to make, this protein powder enhances memory and helps you stay calm. It is wonderful for women undergoing hormonal fluctuations and those who need to bring down their stress levels. The amazing mix of minerals, good fats and proteins has multiple benefits. Remember not to soak or roast them, as they lose their water soluble vitamins and minerals, and roasting kills the good fats.
Oats & edamame breakfast: Oats is a high protein, gluten free, high fibre carbohydrate. At 17 per cent protein, oats reduces cholesterol, belly fat and eliminates constipation, if had regularly. Edamame on the other hand, are fresh soy beans and one of the rare forms of complete vegetarian proteins with all the nine essential amino acids. At 11 per cent protein they can be had steamed, stir fried or in a wholesome vegetable broth. They are anti-inflammatory, rich in iron and calcium and low in calories. Like nuts and seeds, edamame is very high in antioxidants. In a pan, stir fry onions, fresh coriander, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, a pinch of black pepper (to activate turmeric’s anti-cancer properties), add edamame beans, add water. Powder and roast the oats, add slowly into the water as it starts boiling. Simmer for 10 minutes on slow flame. Add water for porridge consistency, salt as per taste. This salted porridge/oats -edamame upma is a great post exercise breakfast for vegetarians!
So the next time you need proteins, reach for holistic ones that provide muscle mass, energy, and mind and body protective qualities like the above do.